Beaune CrasPremier Cru
Grape Variety :
Site: Beaune Premier Cru "Aux Cras" is located northwest of Beaune, on the top of the hill, facing east/south-east.
History & tradition: the name "Cras" comes from the medieval term "crai", describing a stony and limestone soil.
The Romans had already recognized the potential of the hillside overlooking Beaune and planted vines there. Some of the vineyards were separated by small walls and paths which are still extant today.
Soil: clay and limestone.
Plantation density: 10,000 vinestocks/ha in order to extract as much as possible from the terroir and limit the production of each vine stock.
Yield: 46 hl/ha - low on purpose, in order for the grapes to reveal every nuance of the terroir.
Grape supply: grapes and wines are purchased from regular supply partners (long-term contracts).
Maceration and vinification take 2 to 3 weeks
Maceration and fermentation temperatures under total control.
Joseph Drouhin seeks total control of the process of extraction; extraction gives colour and substance but should never be detrimental to the finesse and typical character of the wine.
"Pigeage"(punching down of the cap during fermentation): once a day until half of fermentation is done; one pumping over ("remontage") per day till the end of the fermentation.
Pressing: vertical press; separation of free run juice from pressed juice.
Type: in barrels (20% in new oak).
Length: 14 to 18 months.
Origin of the wood: French oak forests.
Weathering of the wood: Joseph Drouhin insists on total control of the weathering for a period of 3 years, one of the contributing elements to the elegance of the wine.
Follow-up: barrel by barrel.
Throughout the ageing process, decisions are taken only after careful tasting evaluation, barrel by barrel. The data obtained is then completed through technical analysis. As with every other Joseph Drouhin wine, absolute priority is given to the true expression of terroir and character of the vintage.
Tasting note by Véronique Boss-Drouhin
"Beautiful ruby red colour. The nose displays aromas of blackcurrant and blackberry combined with some notes of vanilla. With age and in some vintages, touches of leather will mingle with truffle and spices.
On the palate, the tannins are refined and create a seductive harmony. The aftertaste reveals delicate touches of wood".
As every year we sorted the grapes at once to select the most beautiful bunches that were to be kept in whole clusters and to remove berries that could present a lack of maturity. The sanitary state was very satisfactory with almost no rot. Very quickly at the beginning of the fermentations the colours were released and gradually the varietal character of Pinot Noir was expressed. We favoured this aromatic expression to look for balanced wines without too much power. The tannins are nicely melted, the acidity levels from normal to low. The fermentations and macerations lasted about 3 weeks. In the course of the winter, the malolactic fermentations were triggered and proceeded sometimes rather quickly. The Côte de Beaune, in particular the Clos des Mouches, has very nice wines with a good concentration.
Temperature: 16°C (61-62°F).
Cellaring: 5 to 10 years.